Butterfly kisses

By Jeanne Arnold

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Little Black youngsters held hands and followed their pre-school teacher up the escalators with a helping adult plus me bringing up the rear. Quiet. Careful. Alert to what was ahead, they and I listened to the teacher on how to enjoy the butterflies and how to protect them.

As soon as I entered the exhibit, I was greeted by an exotic species that perched on my shoulder. I heard wings flutter at my ear as she settled on me. I felt peaceful.

In awe of their experience, curious and cautious, some children enjoyed butterflies landing on them; others startled, thinking of biting insects, bees, hornets. This class of bright blue t-shirt-clad Black children stood in a circle with wide eyes on their brown and tan faces, black hair with many of the girls having braids decorated with multi-colored barrettes and beads. Their adults standing in their midst were calm, confident and involved with their thigh-high charges.

Photo by Erik Karits on Pexels.com

Other smaller circles of families clustered there too. It was a human garden of our species.

When I sat to rest on a bench, a large monarch lighted on my shoe. A child sitting next to me watched it too. A dimpled, dark-haired white boy with happy black eyes and a generous smile moved closer to see it and I said quietly, “Please do not to disturb it. It thinks I am a flower.”


I want to share a rainbow with you
a rainbow spanning across the moist, 

warm air from the turbulent spring 

wind-swept lake bordered 

by the fresh, new green grass, 

greener than Easter-basket-grass green,

but alive—alive as I feel,

full of newness, full of life, full of colors,
broad and rich as the lush, double,

perfect rainbow that I want to share with you

by Jeanne


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